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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

29 April 2002

Can you please name three or four Atlantic City casinos besides the Trop that have a good variety of video poker from 25 cents to $1?

Thanks.

No one matches the Trop in terms of variety of video poker. Most of their quarter games, though, are not high payback games. If you just want variety and not high payback, try the larger casinos, like the Taj.

For high payback, though, dollar players should go to Caesars or Bally's for the 9/6 Jacks machines. The Sands also has a few good dollar machines.

Quarter players should check out the Claridge (though their inventory of good games is dwindling), Resorts (8/5 Bonus and Pick 'Em) and the Sands (Triple Play 9/6 Jacks and other games on the second floor).

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John

I recently printed out several articles on the Midwest Gaming & Travel site. There seems to be conflicting info I wanted to ask you about.

One article mentions that the RNG on the slot machine doesn't know how many coins are wagered and it doesn't know whether a slot club card is being used. It explicitly says that the RNG is a different program on a different chip.

Another article talks about Ron Harris and his ordeal with the casino in Atlantic City. The article says that he manipulated the slot machines EPROMs in Las Vegas casinos and the machines paid out based on the sequence of coins inserted.

Well, if the chip that controls RNG can't read how many coins are wagered, then how would Ron Harris be able to change the EPROM to read it. If he did, than the two chips (systems) are connected somehow. There is a connection of some type.

Can you clarify this?

I don't know exactly what Ron Harris did when he gaffed the machines, but I do know that he didn't have to manipulate the RNG in the machines. What he did was to reprogram the machines so they would act differently after a certain sequence of actions was followed.

Normally, the program running the slot machine polls the RNG after a game is started to determine which symbols should land on the paylines.

After Harris had reprogrammed a machine and a confederate had gone through the initiating coin sequence on that machine, the program jumped from the code that the manufacturer wrote for the machine to the code that Harris had added to the EPROM.

This new code didn't poll the RNG at all to get the result of a spin. Harris wanted one of the top jackpots to land on the payline. His code just put that combination in the registers that tell the real program which symbols should land on the payline and then jumped back to the manufacturer's code to spin the reels and get the payout.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots